There’s a Kenneth Chang article in the New York Times this morning on the ever popular topic of “If the globe is warming, why is it so darn cold?” It’s a good explanation of the weather phenomenon that’s making the morning dog walk at Chateau Steelypips so unpleasant.
This reminded me of something I’ve wondered about the public perception of climate change. There was a good deal of hand-wringing on blogs over some recent polls showing depressingly low numbers of Americans believing in global warming (see this one, for example). This was mostly attributed to the successes of the right-wing noise machine, but I wonder how much this is influenced by the fact that it wasn’t a terribly warm summer in my part of the US. It’s really hard to distinguish weather from climate– see all the fuss about the number and strength of hurricanes– and I could easily believe that an unexceptional summer might lead a significant number of people to be less concerned about global warming, while a hotter than normal summer would lead to increased concern.
This seems so obvious, though, that somebody else has probably looked at it. So, has anybody done any studies to see if public opinions on climate change are correlated with local weather? That is, do the poll numbers increase when you have a particularly hot summer, or decrease when you have a particularly cold winter?